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Marco Polo Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
434 Reviews

Again; Not Much to Fault

Marco Polo Cruise Review by Ted and Dawn

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2015
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea

This was our 3rd cruise chosen for the ports of call (Baltic cities, especially St Petersburg) and the two for one offer in the Saturday telegraph. We were offered an upgrade to Deck 5, which was the next to the lowest, on booking and the cabin was perfectly adequate and very clean. There was more than adequate drawer and wardrobe space for our clothes and the quite large cases we took fitted under the beds. This was a lower class of cabin than we had had previously on other cruises but, as said, very acceptable.

Embarkation was very quick and efficient as was disembarkation at their end, especially as we arrived an hour earlier than expected. True, the higher your class of cabin the quicker you were able to embark and disembark but as always, you get what you pay for. The overall attitude of the staff and the service was excellent. Every member of staff always uttered a greeting whenever they encountered you in corridors or staircases and we had no hesitation in paying the daily gratuity charge as we were mindful of the many unseen members of staff (laundry, engine room) one might never see. It seems a fair enough system although some people do resent being told to tip and by how much.

There were a couple of courses on a couple of occasions in the Waldorf Restaurant which we thought were a bit under par but overall the choices and quality of the food in both the Waldorf and Marcos Bistro was very good. We attended the quizzes which were good fun and yes, there is always someone to question the answers! We attended Stefan White's expert lectures on the ports of call which were interesting and informative. Excursions were efficiently handled at the ports and the ones we went on were value for money (one does not expect them to be cheap!) on the whole with high standard of local guide. In 5 of the ports we went ashore independently and were impressed by the free shuttle buses, friendliness of local drivers and guides and range of information and maps provided by the ship to help you find your way about.

The shows were of a very good quality with the resident team of dancers and singers supplemented by a high quality magic show and Shirley Valentine monologue delivered by talented entertainers. We did not take advantage of the craft or fitness activities on offer but we used the jacuzzi on one occasions when it was warm enough and the card room yo play Scrabble on sea days. My husband booked a Bridge tour and found it to be informative and interesting. We met people who were repeat cruisers on the Marco Polo and first timers and people from all walks of life and professions. The cruise director and staff worked hard to offer a varied programme but never any pressure to join in. True, it is an old ship and I did feel seasick in the North Sea on two occasions but it is strongly built with a steel hull to break through ice if necessary. It was certainly more charming, in our opinion, than the towering balconied ships of say the Royal Caribbean variety. Overall, a great cruise with the wonders of St Petersburg still fresh in our minds but Helsinki my favourite!

Ted and Dawn's Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Outside standard twin 246

Fine- very clean and adequate for our needs. Steward friendly and helpful. Fresh towels whenever wanted. Turndown service in evening. No complaints, although cabin walls thin and can be a problem if neighbours are noisy!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury)

Train from Fenchurch Street to Tilbury Town then taxi (£6) to the dock. Porters took luggage immediately- no waiting around. Smooth embarkation. Staff created friendly and exciting atmosphere.

Bad Doberan

Walked around Warnemunde independently in the morning then did the Molli and Minster tour pm. Knowledgeable local guide called Chris - comprehensive tour around the Minster, great trip on the old steam train them delightful cake and tea at destination.

View All 8 Bad Doberan Reviews

Free shuttle bus to town where local rep waiting to help with directions if necessary. Walked around the Old Town- upper and lower. View points gave excellent views. Paid to walk a portion of the old town wall (€3) and had great hot chocolate and macaroon in local cafe- sun came out. Very pleasant. Followed sights to see in the guide book.


Easily walkable to city centre. Visited the 3 churches (red, white and stone) as described in cruise info leaflet and guide book. Port lively and interesting with some good quality souvenirs on market stalls. Great local food market very worth a visit on quayside in the red and yellow building. Contrasted with high end shops (Louis Vuitton etc) further into the centre- shoppers paradise.


The only place we had to wait more than 5 mins for the free shuttle bus but still not a problem. Charming city set on waterways. Ships expert had told us to catch the changing of the guard at the Palace at 12.15 which we did. Charming g winding streets of the Old Town. Waited for the Nobel Museum to open at 11am but entrance fee included a tour in English- informative and could have spent more time there but ship was leaving at 2.30pm that day.

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Ted and Dawn
1 Reviews Written
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